AIMS: To develop an online platform to facilitate evidence-based self-management of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men.
METHODS: Using the PubMed database (search until January 2017) and relevant guidelines, we reviewed evidence for the self-management of LUTS and identified suitable components for the intervention. Next, we built an algorithm that provided individualized advice based on patient characteristics and symptoms for use on an online platform. Men with LUTS tested the usability of the intervention and provided feedback. Finally, we surveyed urologists and general practitioners to identify potential areas for improvement of the intervention.
RESULTS: We identified nine self-help interventions from 48 eligible publications. These were as follows: information and education about LUTS, pelvic floor muscle training, bladder training, urethral milking, double voiding, caffeine management, alcohol management, fluid management, and exercise advice. The level of evidence for each item was low due to the paucity of research available. Six men with LUTS reported difficulties understanding and completing the frequency-volume chart online. The 158 surveyed physicians agreed (≥50% positive ratings) on the inclusion of seven advice items, but not for double voiding and fluid management. Respondents noted that some advice should be provided to all men with LUTS, while other advice should only be presented to certain groups. Some recommendations for additions were offered.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite a lack of evidence for the self-management advice, physicians agreed with most of the included advice. The online platform needs further development. Therefore, adjustments will be made and we will assess its impact in future studies.